McDonald’s has fallen on hard times. The fast food giant has faced — ahem —“supersized” issues over the past few years; from health scares overseas to the general “health-conscience” mindset of people here in the States, the company has reported declining profits for several quarters in a row.
So how does McDonald’s expect to recover from recent losses? By bringing back an old friend: The Hamburglar.
Seriously. This guy.
One of the ways the company plans to turn itself around, according to a video “pep-talk” given by newly-minted CEO Steve Easterbrook this week (which sites like Mashable deemed “passionless”), McDonald’s is looking to create more “brand excitement” — starting, it seems, with a new look for The Hamburglar.
This “2015 Hamburglar” has been given what McDonald’s is basically calling a suburban dad look (though, accurately enough, The Verge has dubbed the new Hamburglar’s getup “a dad that picked the lamest costume at Party City”) — complete with a wife and kids. Golin is apparently behind the video accompanying this McDonald’s tweet, announcing the return of the company’s old mascot.
Wait, is this who we think it is??! https://t.co/rc9xhQrAUi
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) May 6, 2015
AdAge is also reporting that this humanized Hamburglar will begin to appear in a Leo Burnett-produced spot for the company’s new LTO sirloin burgers.
While the new Hamburglar isn’t the only thing Easterbrook has in mind to turn McDonald’s around — a new, less bloated franchise structure and a delivery test in NYC have already been either discussed or introduced — the company seems to be putting a lot of eggs in the “hey, we remember him; let’s eat there” basket. Nostalgia can be a powerful advertising technique; but, is it enough to bring consumers back to the once all-powerful fast food chain?
Call me a pessimist (I am), but I’m not sure a “hotter” version of the formerly tubby hamburger thief is going to have quite the impact McDonald’s is hoping for. Sure, he’ll generate buzz for a time, but increase sales? That’s going to require much more than a suburban outfit and a burger (supposedly) made of sirloin.
For my money, Grimace was the better McDonald’s character anyway. Mind you, he was engorged and purple (from too many burgers/not enough oxygen maybe?), but Grimace is far more likeable — like a pet bulldog you just want to snuggle up on the couch with. Who wants to hang around a guy that steals your food?
In any case, yes; McDonald’s is totally serious about this. God bless ’em — at least they’re trying something.